For someone breaking into the music industry, choosing the digital publication path may not be the first thing one would think of. For Raychel “RayTrill” Harvey though, it was the perfect platform for her outspoken personality. Not only did it get to be an outlet for her passion for music and artistry, but also for the things she believes in, particularly women’s representation in music.
That’s what Trillvo is all about. And that project has turned into a full-fledged site with a staff of writers, photographers, artists, and more. They’re also starting to move into producing their own events in their home city of Houston, including already having organized several charity events in response to Hurricane Harvey. Coming up soon is the Women Strong event to “support female badassery in music” that will benefit the Avon Foundation for Women.
I got a chance to speak with RayTrill about Trillvo, how she came around to it, and where it’s going in the future.
You can also check out Trillvo’s website here.
Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you get into music? How did that lead into what you do today?
Music has always been the foundation of my life, growing up I always asked for cassettes (yes, I’m old) and CDs for Christmas and birthdays. I remember getting my first car, myself and my best friend would compete to bring to best burned CD… back when you gave your computer [a virus] just to download music [laughs].
I grew up mostly listening to hip-hop/R&B but slowly started picking up on old-school trance and house. One day, a close friend dragged me to Flosstradamus at Stereo Live. It changed my life. I knew I wanted to be involved with the scene forever.
What was the inspiration for you to organize and found Trillvo?
I was working a corporate job out of college that I just hated, to be honest. I knew halfway through college it wasn’t my calling but finished all the way through and got my BFA in interior design anyways.
Towards the end of that job right out of college, I spent 75% of my time looking up music and artists or looking up festivals and shows. Finally, I decided this is the only thing that truly makes me happy and I have to work in the music industry. I’m so passionate about music I just knew in my heart I had to do this.
Getting my foot in the door was a lot harder than I thought it would be, so I decided to create my own lane… and TRILLVO was born!
What have you initially started out with?
We started by simply reviewing tracks, shows, and EPs. It was just me at first, but I had dope artists that fucked with me, and what I was doing, and would push me to keep growing and getting bigger. I owe a lot to Stereo Live Houston. They let me throw my first show with them and I probably wouldn’t have the connections or knowledge I have now without throwing shows with them.
It started to become overwhelming for me when I would check my email to tons of promos. That’s when I knew I needed writers, and now we have graphic designers, photogs/videogs, and DJs/producers on the team too. It’s pretty crazy, to be honest.
When festivals started reaching out directly to us to cover and artists requested interviews, I knew we were doing something.
Where do you hope to expand your footprint?
I’m a little hesitant usually to describe future plans because I know how much people hate competition in this industry, but we hope one day to have our own festival. Something unique and completely its own. We’re very inspired by people like Omar Afra who owns Free Press and Day For Night. And Pasquale of course!
We want to be able to hopefully help launch new artists careers and bring unforgettable shows to people that changes lives. At the end of the day, if I can quench peoples thirst, the same thirst I feel for new music and art discovery, or change someone’s life through all of this, that’s what matters to me.
Who are some of the people who personally inspire you?
My mom inspires me more than anyone. She’s such a boss. She worked her way up in her incredibly male-dominated career field and kills it.
Omar Afra again, we interviewed him, and man, he literally did what I hope to do.
WHIPPED CREAM. She’s kicking ass and taking names in bass music and speaking up for women.
Also, Yesjulz. I dont always agree with everything she does, but she’s one of the hardest working women in the game!
And the entire TRILLVO team inspires me on the daily!
When you’re looking for music and up-and-coming artists, what do you look for? How do you discover music?
Keeping my ear to the internet streets mostly. I’m a huge SoundCloud surfer, the second I find an artist I like I go down their page. Then, and this is they key right here, I scroll through their likes on SoundCloud. You’ll find killer artists with damn near 300-500 followers.
Twitter and Instagram keep me up to date, and Reddit. I still use Pandora, believe it or not, and I still discover dope stuff that way. Also 1001Tracklists is a life saver.
What can someone do to help further Trillvo’s mission? How about to help out with Trillvo itself?
Sharing our articles, sharing our mixes on SoundCloud, sharing artists interviews, coming out to our events and seeing the dope artists we bring. Spreading the word. We’re constantly updating with new music and reviews and interviews and guest mixes. You can always find new music with us!
People interested in writing for us or mobilizing a Trillvo team in their city can apply on our website by clicking ‘contact.’ We also love to write about the culture behind all the music and would love to hear stories! We do feature stories on festival-goers all the time.
You’re based out of Houston, can you tell us a bit about how Hurricane Harvey impacted the city and the city’s music scene and how it’s recovering since?
As much as the hurricane itself was horrible, the city hit the ground running with charity shows. I actually organized the charity show at Stereo Live where, regardless of crews, competition, or past industry related nonsense, everyone put their differences aside and we basically made a mini-festival happen in five days after the hurricane.
We raised over $5k for the 100 Club that day and countless cans and clothes for shelters. Then the next week, 3LAU came and played and donated the entire $20k profit from the show to charities in Houston. That’s just two shows though, there was so many. Every genre/venue/bar/club you can think of did something to help.
If there was one thing that you wished more people knew, what would that thing be?
I wish more people would take the happiness they get from festivals, shows, music, and keep that energy alive in their normal lives. I wish that love that people felt in those instances never dissipated and that people would work to keep spreading that love and understanding long after they leave these events. The world needs it.
I stress understanding because everyone is so closed to their own ideals and opinions and never want to gain understanding of other people’s views. But at festivals, shows, or music related events you see people actually care about each other. I want people to know that doesn’t have to end when the music stops.
Are there any upcoming events you’re excited about?
Oh yeah. Our Woman Strong charity event where all proceeds go to Avon Foundation for Women. My team’s first show at our new venue, Spire. Crizzly is playing. Our actual curated show at our new venue called House Of Trill. Lineup TBA! Bailo and Yellow Claw in Austin. Something Wicked Festival.
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